Contractors halt work at R11bn Baic project

Major contractors at the R11 billion Baic motor plant being built at Coega in the Eastern Cape have halted work for more than a week owing to non-payment for work done.

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which has a 35% stake in the project, this week confirmed the work stoppage, adding that there was an “impasse”.

“Baic SA is aware of a stalemate between the main contractor, Beijing Industrial Designing and Research Institute (BIDR), and subcontractors ... Baic SA is currently pursuing engagements with all parties involved to ensure that a consensus is reached,” said IDC spokesperson Mandla Mpangase.

BIDR is the project implementation agent for Baic SA.

Scribante commercial manager Craig Brown told City Press that his company was owed R40 million.

Bradley Smith, managing director of Ivor Smith Electrical, said they were owed about R2 million: “Baic SA ... had been paying us until things started to turn bad in August. We are told that BIDR overshot its budget and now Baic SA is refusing to give them more money,” said Smith.

A spokesperson for WBHO said they were owed millions of rands, while a spokesperson for Babakhane confirmed that work stopped at the plant last Friday. 

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